When Harker enters Dracula’s room he sees a pile of old gold coins, none of them dating back less than 300 years. They come from many different places including Hungary, Turkey and Austrian. These coins are a small detail but hold many clues to the story. I believe the coins are very deliberate on the part of the author. I viewed the coins in two ways.
The first time I read through chapter 4 and came across the passage about the coins in Dracula’s room, I believed that the coins were a symbol of Dracula’s wealth and of the power he used to have. The coins were what was left of a better time. They were also foreshadowing Dracula’s real age. This theory was influenced by my basic knowledge of the story; knowing that Dracula is a vampire and is very old.
After rereading the passage I found a second meaning. This explanation of the coins needs some background. The driver of the carriage which takes Harker to the castle, keeps on stopping at blue fires and marking them with stones. Later in the novel we learn that the driver is in fact the Count, but before Harker finds out, he asks about the blue fire. The Count talks about how there was treasure under the blue fire left by old warring tribes and no peasant could ever find the marked place during the day. Then went on to say “Even you would not, I dare be sworn be able to find the places again.” Harker replied with “There you are right, I know no more than the dead where even to look for them.” I believe the coins Harker finds in Dracula’s room are in fact the treasure form under the blue fires the Count had marked out on that carriage ride. There is a line in the paragraph that talks about the coins being “covered with a film of dust, as though it had lain long in the ground.” On top of all this the coins that are described in the book match the warring tribes that where fighting there. Austrian, Hungarian, Turkish and British. The fact then the Count has found and dug up these coins together with the Count’s line “Those flames only appear on one night, and on that night no man of this land will if he can help it, stir without his doors.” This foreshadows that the Count something other than of this land.